9 Inspiring Modern Desert Homes to Drool Over While You’re Stuck Inside

published May 1, 2020
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There’s something so absolutely dreamy about homes set in stunning natural landscapes (it’s one of the reasons Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture was so successful). Houses, both old and new, that are built deep in the forest or desert have a connection with their surroundings. It’s as if architecture itself is having a conversation with nature.

In the desert—where sunset color palettes play off of the sharp lines of rock formations, cacti, and Joshua trees—beautiful design is like a visual oasis for a weary traveler. Whether a house is contrasted against or complementing with its surroundings, a modern desert home is a strikingly beautiful vision, both inside and out. Though lucky enough to have a job and my health, after weeks (months?) of staying home, I’m delirious with the desire to travel. But until it’s completely safe to do so, I’ll instead drool over these modern desert homes and getaways.

This renovated desert style home, which is beautiful inside and out

Lindsay Hollinger’s house is like walking into a desert landscape of creamy whites, earthy neutrals, and a few hints of green and pink. Lindsay says she fell in love with Joshua Tree after living in Los Angeles for 10 years, and she connected with the desert vibes. This love of her home’s natural settings shows through in her renovated house’s design style.

This modern desert house that proves minimalism belongs in the wilderness

Krysta Jabczenski and Joel Leshefka’s restored adobe home in the historic Barrio Libre neighborhood of Tucson is an airy, bright, minimal home full of drool-worthy design inspiration. The couple did a lot of searching in thrift stores and antique fairs in small desert towns to decorate this place. “We’re interested in objects that have stood the test of time, hand-made objects and functional objects,” they wrote in their house tour.

Credit: Tim Melideo

This home’s desert modern style, which skews vintage and rock ‘n’ roll

Tim Melideo owns this

Small desert homes that show how to do a lot with a little

“This house is the culmination of a decade-long dream of a vacation house in the desert east of Los Angeles,” wrote Marni Epstein-Mervis in her small desert home’s house tour. “It’s been brewing for a while, and we had a serious conversation before our wedding five years ago—desert house or honeymoon? We wanted a place where we could easily escape from LA whenever we wanted, have family and friends out to the house, some place quiet and relaxing to share with others.”

This house, which is the epitome of desert home interior design

Kelly Siebe was looking for a project when she bought this Albuquerque, New Mexico house. While it was pretty rough looking in the beginning, you can see the amazing transformation she did in the house in her before and after post. “It had great bones like a good layout, lots of light for plants, great hardwood floors, and original cabinetry. It just needed some updating and some love,” Kelly described.

This house, which beautifully blends into the desert

It was completely run-down when Kalina Kheirolomoom bought this house in Yucca Valley, California, but it’s since been totally transformed. And the interior’s mix of natural materials and earthy colors palettes blends beautifully with the surroundings of the desert.

DIY desert homes, which are inspiring all the time

Some of the best desert homes to drool over are the ones that were completely DIYed, like this small house by John and Ashley Wagner. From the barn doors to the lighting to the bathroom tiles… this couple’s home is filled with DIY project inspiration anyone could use.

This house, which is the gold standard of modern desert-meets-jungle home decor

Katie Zamprioli’s house in Sunland-Tujunga, California is absolutely Insta-famous, and for good reason. Her candy-colored desert-meets-jungle interior style permeates every inch of her home. The color palette is beautiful and the 97 plants bring so much life into the entire space.

Adobe homes, which are always adorable and this one has inspiring pattern mixing ideas

Matt and Heather French of French & French Interiors designed this Santa Fe, New Mexico house for owners Donna and Bruce, and they chose folk-inspired textiles, mixed with traditional Navajo rugs to “embrace the feeling of the architecture.”